FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 12, 2020)

The stage is now set for the eight drivers still in competition for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship when the series returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the Oct. 25 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500.

In the now-completed Round of 12, Kurt Busch, facing elimination in the point standings, earned the surprise hometown victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 27) to move on to the Round of 8. Denny Hamlin took the lead off turn four in the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 4) to lock in his spot. And on Oct. 11 on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott earned his fourth consecutive road course victory to seal his position in the next round.

Kevin Harvick, who on Oct. 25 will be going for his fourth consecutive Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 victory at Texas Motor Speedway, remains the point leader, with Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Elliot filling out the top four.

The four drivers eliminated were two-time and defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 9th in points), 2020 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 winner Austin Dillon (No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 10th in points), Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, 13th in points) who last week announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 season, and Aric Almirola (No. 10 Stewart-Haas Ford, 14th in points).

Harvick (2014), Keselowski (2012), Logano (2018), Truex (2017), and Kurt Busch (2004) are each in the hunt for a second NASCAR Cup Series championship.

If Kurt Busch were to claim the title, it would be the longest time between series championships -- 16 seasons. The current record is held by “Texas Terry” Labonte, who earned championships in 1984 and 1996.

The full list of drivers moving on to the Round of 8 are:

Kevin Harvick                          No. 4 Stewart-Haas Ford                                            4,067

Denny Hamlin                         No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota                               4,054

Brad Keselowski                     No. 2 Team Penske Ford                                           4,035

Chase Elliott                           No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet                       4,027

Joey Logano                           No. 22 Team Penske Ford                                         4,022

Martin Truex, Jr.                     No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota                               4,017

Alex Bowman                          No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet                     4,009

Kurt Busch                              No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet                       4,006

The balance of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule is:

Oct. 18                        Kansas Speedway                                          Round of 8

Oct. 25                        Texas Motor Speedway                                Round of 8

Nov. 1                         Martinsville Speedway                                    Round of 8 (elimination)

Nov. 8                         Phoenix Raceway                                           Championship 4

NASCAR race fans return to Texas Motor Speedway Oct. 25 with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 weekend. The doubleheader Sunday begins at 11 a.m. CT with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 400 (FS1, PRN, KFWR 95.5 The Ranch). It gives way to the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (2:30 p.m. CT on NBCSN, PRN and KFWR 95.5 The Ranch).

The Oct. 24 NASCAR Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (3:30 p.m. CT on NBCSN, PRN, KFWR 95.5 The Ranch), the fifth of seven playoff races, will be run as a non-spectator event.

Tickets for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500/ 400 doubleheader are available starting at $48 at One ticket will be good for both races and kids 12 and under are just $10.

Keep track of all of Texas Motor Speedway’s events by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Keep up with all the latest news and information on the speedway website and TMS mobile app.